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Old 10-03-2020, 11:51 AM   #1
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Battery / Juice Pack issue

Hi all
we have purchased our first fifth wheel - Arctic Wolf 287BH. It has the juice pack installed (roof mounted solar). My problem is when I store it on a Sunday, by the time I return on a Friday the battery is completely drained. Fridge (Furrion 12V) is switched off, and after this happened the first time I actually switched off the battery switch (see picture). After it happened again the following week (despite having the battery switched off), I took the battery home. While I was disconnecting the battery from the cable, I noticed a small spark, so I guess despite switching off the battery, something is still connected. I suspect it is related to the solar controller, but i don't know. Anyone have that issue as well?

I did get the battery tested at a car shop. It came back as needed to be replaced but when I got it tested it wasn't charged yet, so I would rather think it's not the battery itself. But I'll have it retested fully charged.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:16 PM   #2
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draining the battery and leaving it sit the rest of the week, not only once but now as you described twice has certainly compromised the life and capacity of the battery. You may find that you will need to replace the battery.

I might suggest one of those Smart battery chargers with the De-sulphation capability to POSSIBLY bring your battery back to NEARLY normal. Take the battery out and bring it home as those chargers need to be hooked up a minimum of 3-4 days to have any chance of revitalizing that battery.
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:16 PM   #3
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Most RV's have "parasitic draws" which will run a battery down. These are things such as your CO2 detector, smoke alarms, etc. Even though you turn off your battery disconnect switch these will still draw a very low current from the battery. That's why you saw a very small spark when disconnecting the battery. Would it be possible at your storage place to plug in a small "battery maintainer" to keep the battery charged? You could, but not highly suggested, remove a battery cable each time you place the unit in storage.
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Old 10-04-2020, 10:33 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your responses. Agree on the battery drain and the fact that this will compromise the battery life. I don't understand two things: 1) I have a solar panel on the roof, which theoretically (unless it's not enough power) keep the battery charged at least to some point (maybe this was only my expectation...) and 2) a switch off on the battery should really switch off the battery or am I wrong. Now, obviously that switch does not work the way I expect it to work and the controller for the solar still has a little LED going despite the battery being switched off. I really do think this has to do with the solar panel, not with the others like CO detector etc...
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:02 AM   #5
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Thank you both for your responses. Agree on the battery drain and the fact that this will compromise the battery life. I don't understand two things: 1) I have a solar panel on the roof, which theoretically (unless it's not enough power) keep the battery charged at least to some point (maybe this was only my expectation...) and 2) a switch off on the battery should really switch off the battery or am I wrong. Now, obviously that switch does not work the way I expect it to work and the controller for the solar still has a little LED going despite the battery being switched off. I really do think this has to do with the solar panel, not with the others like CO detector etc...
Disconnect switches often do not totally disconnect the batteries from all loads. Items like the radio, which needs power to maintain preset stations in memory, the CO/LPG detector (for safety), are still connected.

The CO/LPG detector doesn't draw much power but the radio can draw a noticeable amount.

I decided that if my TT was in storage and I wasn't occupying it at all I didn't need ANY 12 v power connected so I re-wired so my Battery Shutoff switch disconnects ALL power from the batteries. The positive cable from the batteries makes it's first stop at the disconnect switch and everything needing power is connected AFTER the switch. Works great and since I'm on the road to different locations I could care less about radio station presets.

As for the LED on the Solar Controller, it is illuminated (sometimes flashes) whenever the controller is connected to the batteries. It doesn't draw enough power to worry about. If your solar panels aren't keeping the batteries charged then you have more current draw than they can replace.

If using solar panels to maintain batteries while in storage the controller needs to be connected to the batteries all the time and should be connected directly, not switched.
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:53 PM   #6
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Other way round

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The CO/LPG detector doesn't draw much power but the radio can draw a noticeable amount.
Pretty sure it's the other way round.

Here's a link to a typical 12v RV Propane detector. Quiescent (standby) current is 76 mA.

Car radios have a standby current of less than 5mA, per automobile manufacturer specifications. (I can dig around and find a reference if you need one.)
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:54 PM   #7
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Hi all
we have purchased our first fifth wheel - Arctic Wolf 287BH. It has the juice pack installed (roof mounted solar). My problem is when I store it on a Sunday, by the time I return on a Friday the battery is completely drained. Fridge (Furrion 12V) is switched off, and after this happened the first time I actually switched off the battery switch (see picture). After it happened again the following week (despite having the battery switched off), I took the battery home. While I was disconnecting the battery from the cable, I noticed a small spark, so I guess despite switching off the battery, something is still connected. I suspect it is related to the solar controller, but i don't know. Anyone have that issue as well?

I did get the battery tested at a car shop. It came back as needed to be replaced but when I got it tested it wasn't charged yet, so I would rather think it's not the battery itself But I'll have it retested fully charged.

Thanks for your help!



If those pics are of your set up: Then it looks like the disconnect by the battery does disconnect everything, as I see nothing bypassing the switch to the positive terminal. That also means that the juice pack is NOT charging your battery when the switch is off. If you're leaving the inline positive switch on, and turning off the internal DC switch (cuts DC to various circuits, then you'll need to check the status on the solar controller to see if it's connected to the battery). My Wolf Pup came with the Juice Pack on one of the circuits that is always connected to the battery (this doesn't mean that yours is and I suggest testing your breakers to be sure that they're going to where they say they do. There have been many wiring errors noted on this site).


The Juice Pack is in reality a battery tender, I'll assume that yours is the 50watt Furrion too.


Good luck.
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Old 10-04-2020, 01:10 PM   #8
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Attached is a picture of the switch ordered from Amazon that I put on that overrides all parasitic battery draws. It is $13.99. This one is a good quality switch that doesn't add any height to your batteries. Hook it up to the negative cable that feeds the coach. It just adds seconds to completely turn off everything and you don't have to mess with a wrench to remove a battery cable to disconnect. Highly recommended.
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Old 10-04-2020, 01:18 PM   #9
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Attached is a picture of the switch ordered from Amazon that I put on that overrides all parasitic battery draws. It is $13.99. This one is a good quality switch that doesn't add any height to your batteries. Hook it up to the negative cable that feeds the coach. It just adds seconds to completely turn off everything and you don't have to mess with a wrench to remove a battery cable to disconnect. Highly recommended.



I'd spray/paint that with an insulator. Looks like a lot of exposed area to come in contact with who knows what. But isn't that red switch next to your battery a positive disconnect? I do see one small hot lead running from it. That could be for the Juice Pack and possibly your CO/Gas Detectors.
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Old 10-04-2020, 01:25 PM   #10
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Attached picture shows a small red wire coming off the " hot " side of switch , that is not being shut off 1
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Old 10-04-2020, 01:25 PM   #11
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I'd spray/paint that with an insulator. Looks like a lot of exposed area to come in contact with who knows what. But isn't that red switch next to your battery a positive disconnect? I do see one small hot lead running from it. That could be for the Juice Pack and possibly your CO2/Gas Detectors.
Put this switch on the negative feed cable to the coach. Since the coach is all negative grounded, unless you touch a wrench to the positive battery post at the same time, then it is a problem. With or without a switch, you always have to be careful around the positive battery post on any vehicle with a battery.
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Old 10-04-2020, 01:46 PM   #12
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Pretty sure it's the other way round.

Here's a link to a typical 12v RV Propane detector. Quiescent (standby) current is 76 mA.

Car radios have a standby current of less than 5mA, per automobile manufacturer specifications. (I can dig around and find a reference if you need one.)
I'm sure car radios installed in vehicles by the manufacturer draw very little current. Same can't be said for the Radio/DVD player installed in my TT.

When in "standby" (it can't be turned off completely) it draws more like 300 ma. That's according to both my Clamp Type DC ammeter and the Victron BMV.

I just installed a switch inline with the radio's power source and now when I'm not using it the current draw is strictly the LPG detector. My CO detector is integrated into the Smoke detector and it has it's own battery.
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Old 10-04-2020, 02:55 PM   #13
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I'm sure car radios installed in vehicles by the manufacturer draw very little current. Same can't be said for the Radio/DVD player installed in my TT.

When in "standby" (it can't be turned off completely) it draws more like 300 ma. That's according to both my Clamp Type DC ammeter and the Victron BMV.

I just installed a switch inline with the radio's power source and now when I'm not using it the current draw is strictly the LPG detector. My CO detector is integrated into the Smoke detector and it has it's own battery.
I just bought a switch to install to cut the power to the radio/DVD player/clock. If I camp by an area without electricity, I'm looking for any way to cut draw from the batteries. I also disconnect the TVs, unless using them. You leave all this stuff connected, two weeks in storage or more, you may find the batteries will be almost dead.
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Old 10-13-2020, 02:19 PM   #14
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Check the wires going to the battery. You will find the heavy gauge wires run to the disconnect, that is the one to the main buss in the breaker panel, then you should see two smaller gauge wires from the positive side of the battery, one runs from the Solar controller, and the other will run into the chassis somewhere. That one runs to the breakaway box for the brakes. By law that should never never have a disconnect between it and the battery for obvious reasons.

So if this is not the case, chances are the solar connection is either not wired correctly, or the controller is not programmed correctly since it should fully charge the battery in at least 8 hours of full sun while disconnected, at least the one in my trailer does for my 105AH lead acid bottom of the shelf battery.

When the disconnect is off, nothing inside my trailer has power, it is completely cut off, including the CO and Propane alarm.
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